`Stability in Pakistan vital for global security`

The US and Britain advocate ceaseless engagement with Pakistan.

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010, 16:58 PM IST

Washington: The US and Britain on Thursday advocated ceaseless engagement with Pakistan, saying that stability in Islamabad was vital for security of the region and the wider world.

Making a joint appeal for more international help for flood relief in Pakistan, US Vice President Joe Biden and British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the devastation in that country needed an immense helping hand from other countries.

"Stability in Pakistan, underpinned by economic and democratic development, is vital for the stability of the region and for security in the wider world," they said.

"The US and the UK affirm their commitment to sustained long-term post-flood reconstruction in Pakistan, beyond the immediate humanitarian needs. We encourage other members of the international community to remain engaged as well," they said.

"On behalf of our two countries we pledge our unshakeable support for the people of Pakistan in the wake of this natural disaster. But our support does not end here. We reaffirm our commitment to enhancing our respective strategic partnerships with Pakistan on the basis of shared interests and mutual respect," they said.

"We recognise also the role that the international community has in helping Pakistan to address a range of challenges across development, security and governance," the two leaders said, adding that they look to the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Ministerial meeting in October to mobilise further political support on these agendas.

Welcoming the international contributions that have been made so far, including approximately USD 209 million from Britain and USD 345 million from the US, Biden and Clegg said they recognise also the generosity of individual citizens in these and other countries.

"However, there is more to be done. To meet the targets of the UN`s humanitarian appeal and the upcoming World Bank Damage and Needs Assessment, we encourage the international community to respond fully, rapidly and with effective coordination and leadership. We encourage partners to meet in full pledges made at the 2009 Tokyo Donors meeting in addition to new pledges that are related to the floods," they said.

PTI